SICILIAN MARINERS

Tune Information

Meter: 8.7.8.7.8.7
Incipit: 56543 45654 35567
Key: D Major
Source: Sicilian melody; The European Magazine and London Review, 1792; Tattersall's Improved Psalmody, 1794; Anonymous European folksong tune

Notes

SICILIAN MARINERS is traditionally used for the Roman Catholic Marian hymn "O Sanctissima." According to tradition, Sicilian seamen ended each day on their ships by singing this hymn in unison. The tune probably traveled from Italy to Germany to England, where The European Magazine and London Review first published it in 1792. The tune was associated with the German Christmas carol "O du Frohliche, O du Selige." The tune also appears to have had an influence on the African American song “We Shall Overcome.” SICILIAN MARINERS is a bar-form tune (AAB) with a florid soprano line and an active harmonization. Sing it either vigorously or reflectively; singing rather deliberately will increase the hymn's dignity. A traditional version of the tune includes dotted rhythms, which encourage a more meditative approach to singing. --Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988

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Include 172 pre-1979 instances
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